Most estimates of the total number of Armenians who died as a result of Ottoman and Turkish government policies between 1915 and 1923 are in the range of 800,000 to over 1 million. As of 2019, governments and parliaments of 32 countries, including the United States, Russia, and Germany, have recognized the events as a genocide. The survivors of the genocide used a number of Armenian terms to name the event.
About Armenian Genocide in brief
The Armenian Genocide was the systematic mass murder and expulsion of ethnic Armenians carried out in Turkey and adjoining regions by the Ottoman government during World War I. Most estimates of the total number of Armenians who died as a result of Ottoman and Turkish government policies between 1915 and 1923 are in the range of 800,000 to over 1 million. Raphael Lemkin was inspired by the annihilation of the Armenians to define the crime of systematic extermination of a people, which he called genocide, in 1943. In contrast to the vast majority of genocide scholars and historians, Turkey denies that the word genocide is an accurate term for these crimes. As of 2019, governments and parliaments of 32 countries, including the United States, Russia, and Germany, have recognized the events as a genocide. The survivors of the genocide used a number of Armenian terms to name the event. The name Aghed or Aghet, usually translated as ‘Catastrophe’, was the term most often used in Armenian literature. The word Völkermord —directly equivalent to the later English word ‘genocide’ — was frequently used for killing Armenians, beginning with the Hamidian massacres in the 1890s. The Armenian Genocide is the second-most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust. The Turkish government uses expressions such as ‘Armenian Question’ or ‘Ar Armenian Tragedy’, often characterizing the charge of genocide as ‘armenian lies’ and ‘false allegations’ The Armenian millet was led by one of the spiritual heads of the Armenian Apostolic Church, the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople.
Armenians were mainly concentrated in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire, although large communities were also found in the western provinces, as well as in the Ottoman capital, Constantinople. Under the Ottoman census figures collected by the Dadians and the Ottoman Patriarchate, there were almost three million Armenians. Most Armenians lived in rural countryside, with the exception of the wealthy, Amira-based Amira class, whose members included the Duzans and the Buzans. The vast majority were grouped together into a semi-autonomous community, the Armenian millet, which was made up of three religious denominations: the Armenian Catholic, Armenian Protestant, and Armenian Church of the Armenians. The Armenians of the millet were fairly independent and allowed to rule itself under its own system of governance, with little interference from the Ottomans. According to some definitions the genocide includes the Republic of Turkey’s massacres of tens of thousands of Armenian civilians during the 1920 Turkish– Armenian War. The term’genocide’ is used to refer to the crimes committed by the Turkish government in the 1920s and 1930s against Armenians and other ethnic groups, including Assyrians, Greeks, and Turks. In German, the word ‘Germans’ is also used to describe the extermination of the Assyrian people in the early 20th century, and the Greek genocide in the 1930s.